Friday, October 10, 2014

Seiden Grace...You are ELEVEN Months Old!!! (9-19-14)

 
I am seriously in utter disbelief that this is the last post I will type while having an "infant."  The next update will be my sweet baby's one year post and she will be considered a "toddler."  A TODDLER!!!  How in the world do we almost have a toddler???  I can't even believe it.  I'm actually sitting here typing this (almost a month late) on the very day that we headed to Fort Worth to be there for an unknown amount of time.  My doctor wanted me down there two weeks before our scheduled c-section...which didn't happen!  And, we had no idea, at the time, how long we would be in Ft. Worth and in the hospital after our princess came.  Here we are 11 months later, and we have a perfect, healthy, smart, beautiful, funny, sweet, growing and developing baby girl.  God is SO good!

11 months has proven to be a BIG month for Seiden!  It might actually be the biggest month yet!  Lots of stuff has happened and she just continues to grow and change so much, it's getting hard to keep up with her!  Let's see...where should I start?!?

On August 21st, we had a consultation at Cooks with an ENT.  Yep...it was time for tubes.  Our pediatrician told us in June that we needed to go ahead and have tubes put in.  But, the ENT at Cooks was booked until August for a consultation.  So...we waited.  And while we waited...we had TWO more ear infections.  Yep.  Two.  Want to guess how close together they were?!?  A week and a half.  My mom went and picked her up early from day care one day because she was running a fever.  That was a Wednesday, and I met her at the doctor as soon as I got home from work.  Lo and behold, she had a double ear infection.  That following Friday, I could tell a day or two before that she was still not up to snuff.  So, mom took her back to the doctor on Friday.  Still had a double ear infection AND had a little hole in her right ear drum.  This was exactly a week from the day that her surgery was scheduled for to get tubes.  By this point, I was SO ready for her to have tubes.  And...with all this junk going on with her ears, she was still so happy, sweet, and energetic.  She just had a snotty nose, cough, and was pulling on her ears on and off throughout the day.  She wasn't fussy or in a bad mood.  God has given this little angel the strength and pain tolerance that is simply unimaginable.  She amazes me.  Everyday, she just simply amazes me.

So, on September 12th, it was time.  My parents went with us.  Which was so nice because we left so, so early in the morning.  Plus...it's just nice having them there to help and be an extra set of hands and bodies so Cody and I can have a little break every now and again!  Her surgery was scheduled for 8ish in the morning.  We had to be there to check-in by 6:45.  Meaning...we left Abilene at 3:30 am.  Yep...it's been awhile since I've seen that early in the morning!  I do get up every morning during the week at 4:00 am.  But...it's so different.  I get up, work out, take care of the fur babies, get ready for the day, then get the princess up and going.  This was totally different.  My alarm went off at 2:30 am so that I could make sure and be up and ready to go.  I had packed everything the night before, so all I had to do was wash my face, shave my legs, throw on some mascara, stick my pj's in mine and S's overnight bag, and go get her up.  Cody woke up about 3:00...but it takes guys no time to get ready!  The dogs were so super confused.  They knew it was too early...but their bellies were ready to eat.  I gave them some doggie cookies to tide them over until our precious neighbor, Kim and her hubby Matt, could come over and take care of our fur babies.  Anyways, they went with me to get Seiden up and semi-ready.  All I did was change her diaper.  I left her in her jammies so that she would be cozy and comfy in the car, and doze back off until we got there.  We loaded her in the car along with all our stuff (we packed to stay the night...just in case) and drove across the street to pick-up my parents.  The boys rode in the front and us three girls sat in the back.  Seiden was a bit confused.  When I normally get her up, I feed her as soon as I change her diaper and her clothes.  And obviously I couldn't feed her until after surgery.  Which was the part I was most worried about...other than the actual surgery.  The girl LOVES to eat!  We got on the road just a little after 3:30 and Seiden babbled and talked until we were just a few miles on the interstate.  Then...she totally konked out.  However, that didn't last that long.  She doesn't throw fits very often, but from about Ranger until about 10 miles outside of Weatherford...she threw a royal one!  I mean...she is a princess...so I guess it's just natural for her to go all out!  And, like I said, she doesn't throw them often, so when she does they are BIG!  I'm still not really sure what happened.  Other than to just assume that her routine was just totally thrown off.  I thought she just might have been dirty.  But, when we got to Weatherford and made our traditional pit stop, she was hardly even wet.  She had almost drifted back off to sleep when we stopped, and fell right back asleep until after we were all checked in for surgery.

After we got to the Dodson Surgery Clinic and got all checked in...she woke up and was ready to play!  We just kept her busy and let her play so that she would keep her mind off of being hungry.  Which...looking back was SO not a big deal!  She's such a trooper.  It was just a little after 7:00 when the nurse called us back.  They had to check all her vitals, weigh her, and measure her.  Then, she took us back to our room and we answered all kinds of questions and signed a bunch of papers and then the anesthesiologist came in and talked to us for a few minutes.  After that, the nurse went back out to the waiting room and got my parents and they joined us before Seiden went back for surgery.  After they got there, Cody and I took a bathroom break, I went and got coffee, then my parents went and did the same.  Both my dad and Cody are insanely busy right now.  Cody's still working between 12-15 hours a day and my dad has been living in Midland for work during the week and coming home on the weekends.  So, they were both emailing and texting while mom and I played with Seiden on her hospital bed.  We brought a bunch of stuffed animals and a few of her favorite toys and she was just going to town.  Crawling up and down the entire length of the hospital bed just babbling and talking and playing up a storm.  She had no idea that she hadn't gotten her breakfast yet.  Just such a sweet, precious, easy going, good girl!  We also had GMA playing on the TV so we could catch up on our favorite morning show.  About 7:50, the nurse came to get my princess to take her to have her tubes put in.  So, I changed her into her hospital gown, squeezed her tight, gave her a bunch of kisses, and off she went.  We let her take her Pooh bear to keep her company and I could hear her talking away to it and the nurse as she went down the hall.  After that, I ran to the restroom again, went to get some hot water so that I could have a bottle ready when she was done, and got back to the room to text everyone that she was back and the surgeon popped his head in.  I thought he was coming to tell us that he was about to go back and start.  Nope!  He was coming to tell us that she was all done, had done great, her right ear was super infected and he had to clean a bunch of gunk out, told us it could drain more than normal, told us we could feed her in an hour if she was up to it, and that was it!  WHAT?!?  The only surgery I had to compare this to was when she had her cyst removed when she was 4 days old and it was about 2 hours long.  So, this was crazy to me!  Not even 10 minutes after she was taken back, she was being brought back in.  It was literally just a few minutes after 8:00.  She was sound asleep, but had a bottle full of apple juice diluted with water that she was sucking down.  About 30 minutes later, she was up and happy as a lark!  A sleepy little lark...but she was happy and babbling and snuggling her stuffed animals.  We put her in her car seat, went and got the car, and headed to the Harrison's for some rest and a little relaxing.  And...so Seiden could sleep in a soft, comfy, crib before being stuck back in the car seat for the ride home.  Of course, we stopped for Starbuck's and McDonald's (gag me!) on the way there.  We got there about 9:30 and I got Seiden out of her car seat (she had passed out on the way there) and started to put her to bed.  But...she was wide awake and ready to go!  So, I brought her downstairs and she played, and played and played, drank about 5 ounces of milk, ate a piece of cinnamon bread, and then by 11:00...she was out like a light!  She slept until about 3:00 that afternoon!  While she was napping, the boys went and got lunch at BJ's Brewhouse, then they went to Cabela's, and after they got back, mom and I headed to Southlake to go to Nordstrom Rack.  When we got back, we decided to go ahead and head home.  We pulled out about 4:30...bad timing on our part.  And we got to Weatherford about 6:00 and decided to go ahead and eat dinner.  So, we pulled in to On the Boarder...which is another fav!  Seiden gobbled down more food, it was like she had just had a normal day and hadn't just had out patient surgery just hours before.  Have I mentioned how amazing she is?!?  After dinner, we headed home!  We pulled in to Abilene about 8:30 and we were all just completely exhausted.  Seiden included.  She gobbled down her nighttime bottle and slept until 8:00 the next morning...which meant mommy and daddy (especially mommy) got to sleep in too!  And...because she is such a brave, tough, strong girl...she got donuts the next morning from Opa and Bella <3 AND then mommy and daddy went and got her some too!

Phew...after that...I bet you didn't think there was more huh?!?  WRONG!  Hehe!  On September 23rd...she had her one year...YES...ONE YEAR...check-up with her surgeon.  Who, we always love seeing.  But, I have to be honest.  I was totally nervous and anxious about this one.  There is still some cyst left under her right jawbone.  And, we know at some point, we will have to figure out if we need to aspirate it or do more surgery to remove it.  The real concern was the growth of the cyst.  Which, neither one of us thought that it had, but we are obviously not trained professionals and have no clue what we are really looking/feeling for.  We just knew that it truly didn't feel like it had gotten any bigger since we got home from the NICU.  Anyways...our appointment was at 1:00 on the 23rd to see Dr. Thomas.  Mom wound up going with me because Cody just couldn't get away from work.  But, he was on speaker during the appointment so he could be apart of the conversation and hear what Dr. Thomas had to say and ask questions if he had any.  When Dr. Thomas walked in, Seiden got super excited to see him.  And...he was beyond thrilled to see her!  Such a sweet, Godly man.  We are so blessed by him.  He couldn't believe how big she was and just thought she was simply beautiful.  After a few minutes of catching up and visiting, it was time to get down to business.  He noticed right off that her right cheek was more full than normal.  Which, we knew could happen if she is sick.  Because of her lymphatic system being comprised because of the cyst, anytime she is sick and fighting anything off, her right side is just more full than the left.  The lymphatic fluid just floods to that side and causes it to be more full and swollen.  It's like when you or I are getting sick or are sick and you can feel your lymph nodes swollen up underneath your jawline.  For her, it just goes to her right cheek, so it's way more noticeable.  We told him that she had just had tubes put in and how bad her last two ear infections were.  He immediately brushed of any worry or concern with the fullness.  He said with how bad those ear infections were and how close together they were, it was no wonder she was more full on that side.  Plus...her body was still healing from getting those tubes in.  So, after that, i held her in my lap with her back facing Dr. Thomas.  And he came up right behind her and laid her down in his lap so that he could feel underneath her jaw and get a good feel of that little piece of cyst.  She did not like it one bit and started to throw a fit.  Which, was actually good because he was also able to take a really good look inside her mouth.  It only took him a few seconds and she calmed down and was back to her playful, happy self in no time.  Then, we started talking about what all he found, thought, and plans for the future.

First, the cyst has NOT grown!  Praise the Lord!!!  It also isn't growing up or inside her cheek preventing her from eating, drinking, or doing any other normal baby thing.  Which, was a concern.  So...we received absolutely amazing news from Dr. Thomas!!!  As far as plans for the future, we aren't planning to do anything right away.  But, he does want to see us back in May or June and we will start talking about doing an aspiration on the cyst.  We would probably be doing something sooner than that.  But, he doesn't want to do any kind of surgery on her right at the start, middle, or end of cold and flu season.  Because her lymphatic system is compromised, it also means her immune system isn't as strong.  She is just way more susceptible to getting colds and such because of everything.  So, he doesn't want to do anything until the weather is warmer and there isn't as much junk going around so that she will be able to heal quickly and not be exposed to as much junk that goes around during the fall, winter, and sometimes spring months.  The only reason he said he would need to see us sooner is if the swelling and fullness in her face dramatically increases in size...like quadruples.  Then, there is obviously something going on and he needs to see her and probably do something much sooner.  But, we are praying against that happening!  I am declaring right now, in Jesus's name, that the swelling and fullness will not increase in size and that the cyst will not grow.  And, I believe that it will decrease and go down and the cyst will just shrink.  In fact, just days after we had gotten back from seeing Dr. Thomas, her right ear drained like a son of a gun.  Her left ear did a little bit.  And you know what?!?  The swelling in her right cheek is down.  It is actually back down to normal size and almost symmetrical to the left.  How's that for seeing more of God's healing powers?!?  He's done some pretty amazing work through this precious angel that I get to call my daughter.

On a ever changing, growing like crazy note...  Seiden has totally stopped drinking bottles.  I swear it happened overnight and I didn't even have to do anything.  She just totally weaned herself off of them about a week and a half ago.  Like...after she had her tubes put in, she stopped wanting her 3:30 bottle.  So, they were just giving her her sippy cup with water in it at day care.  Then, not too long after that, she was barley drinking her morning and night bottles.  She was still gulping down her 11:30 bottle.  I'm guessing, now, because she was so thirsty.  I was worried that it was because she was getting another ear infection.  Not drinking her bottles is one of her signs.  So, I took her in and her ears were as clear as could be.  So, I just kept on pressing on with making her bottles and her not wanting but a few sips of it.  After a few more days, I just stopped sending her 11:30 bottle to day care and told her sweet teachers that she just seemed to really not be wanting them, so she only had her sippy cup all day and was doing just fine.  She was still pretty uninterested in her morning and night bottles.  AND...she had become totally uninterested in her baby food.  If she couldn't feed herself, she wasn't gonna eat!  Little miss independent!  So, just this last weekend, I stopped giving her bottles and started putting organic apple juice diluted with water in her sippy cup and she was drinking about 3 10 oz. cup fulls a day.  But, I knew that she needed milk and not juice, even if it was organic.  However, that is exactly how she learned to drink from and new she loved whatever was coming out of that sippy! So, on Sunday (October 5th), I started offering her only whole milk from her sippy cup.  And...just like that she is drinking whole milk straight from a sippy.  It literally took two days.  And that was because I kept pushing the bottle.  She just totally weaned herself and did it all on her own.  No more bottles.  No more baby food.  She eats breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner and drinks from a cup now.  Where did my tiny baby go that was drinking 8 bottles a day every 3 hours?!?  It was just yesterday.  And now, she is a strong, healthy, beautiful, talkative, smart, energetic, almost toddler.  Who...will probably be walking soon.  She's stood up a couple of times on her own.  Only for a few seconds each time...but still...it's coming.  Oh...and she has TWO teeth!

My baby is growing up.  And I am loving, cherishing, and relishing in every minute of it.  Because I've blinked and this first year is just nearly over.  I know they are only going to go faster and faster and I don't want to miss a single second of any day.  She is just so much fun and I have loved every second of being her mommy.  From day one she has had my heart in her hands and has simply amazed me at her strength, determination, will, beauty, love, and compassion.  Cody and I couldn't be more blessed with a more perfect baby girl.  We are so thankful for her and the continuous healing that God continues to do in her beautiful life.  She has changed our lives and changed this world for the better.  I know God had big plans for her future and I so look forward to seeing what He has in store for her.  Mommy and daddy love you so much Seiden.  You are wonderful, and amazing, and perfect in every way.  You continue to amaze us and bless us and we are just so thankful that God chose us for you and you for us.  Happy 11 Months my precious Seiden Grace.  You will forever hold my heart in your hands!












Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our First Father's Day!!! (6-15-14)

This little daddy's girl got to help her daddy celebrate his first ever Father's Day this year!!!  Seiden Grace loves her sweet daddy so much and she did such a good job picking out his presents and making him feel so special and loved on this special day.  We started off the day by giving daddy his present bright and early before church.  Seiden thought it would be a good idea to run to Jack and Jill for some chocolate glazed donuts and chocolate milk.  And...she may or may not have had a donut hole or two!  She also was very sweet and thoughtful and got one for each of her puppies...and mommy snuck one in too!  Half a dozen donut holes can make two girls and two fur babies very happy campers!  Anyways...Seiden made her daddy a banner to go in one of the donuts and also filled out an "All About My Daddy" sheet to go along with his breakfast, cards, and present.  She's such a sweet girl!  For his big present, she got him some beautiful pictures of herself to put up in his office.  There might have been one of Seiden and Mommy in there too!  The one of just Seiden, we had made into an 11X14 wrapped canvas and the one of mommy and Seiden we had blown up to a 5X7 and put in a really pretty frame that matches his office decor.  We had fun taking the pics and shopping for the frame together so that it would be just perfect for such a special daddy!  After breakfast and present opening, we headed to church with my mom, dad, and brother.  Going to church as a family is something we do every Sunday, but it was extra special today (just like it was on Mother's Day) to go together and celebrate two of the most important men in my life.  It is the first time that Cody got to celebrate being a daddy and the first time that my precious daddy got to celebrate being an Opa for the very first time.  Seiden got him some presents too!  She gave him an 8X10 of that picture of her, a 5X7 of the one of her and mommy, and a 5X7 of one with her, mommy, and Bella!  She picked out frames for each of them and he put them front and center on his desk in his office!  He loves his Seiden Grace so much and it has just absolutely melted my heart to watch my dad with my baby.  And, I couldn't ask for a better daddy to Seiden than Cody is.  He is just the best!!!  After church, we headed to Szechuan for lunch.  We LOVE that place!  We hardly ever go though.  I guess it's because it's kinda off the beaten path.  But, we love it!  The food is so good and so fresh...and...it's kind of a treat when we do go since we don't go there often!  So, it was definitely a treat for such a special day!  After lunch, we headed home.  The little princess was ready for a nap.  And, unfortunately, mommy and daddy had some chores to do. You see, that's the interesting thing about being an adult and a parent!  You don't really ever get a "day off" even when it's a day to celebrate you!  Haha!!!  I know one thing's for sure though.  And that is that we LOVE being Seiden Grace's mommy and daddy.  After Seiden's nap and the few little chores that we had, we spent the rest of the day hanging out.  We had my parents over for dinner, like we did on mother's day.  I made a bunch of yummy sides, my mom made dessert, and Cody, my dad, and brother went outside and grilled up a bunch of yummy meat!  Cody, Seiden and I are so thankful for you and the man, husband, and sweet daddy that you are.  Your girls love you SO much!!!  Happy First Father's Day!







Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our First Mother's Day!!! (5-11-14)

Mother's Day has always been a special day.  But this year, it took on a whole different meaning.  There is no greater joy that I get than being Seiden's mommy.  I still can't believe God chose her for me...but I'm SO glad that He did!  She is just perfect in every way and will always be the little princess that gave me this oh-so-cherished title.  We spent our day as a family.  My Mimi had come down for the weekend, she and Seiden are 90 years to the day apart!  So, we all went to church together.  Cody, Seiden, me, my parents, brother and his girlfriend, and my Mimi.  After church, we went back home so Seiden could get a little cat nap in and I could pump before we headed out to lunch.  We were too late on making reservations out at Perini's...so we went to Lytle, Land, and Cattle and it was so good!  It had been a long time since I had eaten there, so it was extra special and yummy!  After lunch, the three of us headed home and Seiden gave me the sweet present she got for me for Mother's Day.  I was in total shock when I pulled the tissue paper out of the bag.  I really had no idea what she and Cody would have gotten me...but what I saw inside that bag was a black box with a satin ribbon tied around it that said "David Yurman."  I just looked up at Cody with eyes as wide as saucers and then pulled out this gorgeous necklace. (click on the word "necklace" and it will take you to the picture!)  It is absolutely beautiful and I wear it with pride almost everyday!  So, so sweet of my precious hubby to help Seiden pick out such a beautiful gift that I will have and cherish forever.  We went over to my parent's house after I opened my present so we could give my mom her present.  We all went in together and got her two new beads for her Pandora bracelet.  She loved them and they look so beautiful with all her other pretty beads!  Then, all us girls headed out to the mall to do a little shopping.  We had a fun day together with 4 generations of some pretty awesome girls!  My Mimi headed home after we got back from the mall and then Cody fired up the grill to get dinner started.  I worked inside on all the sides and then mom and dad came over with drinks and dessert.  I couldn't have pictured a better way to spend my very first Mother's Day and I will always have such sweet memories from this day!